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UNR Gets $3.8 Million Federal Grant to Study Drought Preparation

PHOTO: A $3.8 million federal grant is helping researchers at the University of Nevada study how to meet growing demand with a declining water supply. Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
PHOTO: A $3.8 million federal grant is helping researchers at the University of Nevada study how to meet growing demand with a declining water supply. Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
August 18, 2014

RENO, Nev. - Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno will spend the next several years studying how to deal with a limited water supply linked to ongoing climate change. Maureen McCarthy is interim director with the University of Nevada-Reno's Academy for the Environment. She says the university is among the recipients of a $3.8 million federal grant to study how to supply growing demand with less water.

"In the light of climate change, how you understand what your water supply is going to be, how variable it's going to be, and how you can make that water supply more resilient to changes in climate," McCarthy says.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation is specifically to study the Truckee-Carson River System. McCarthy says the research is meant to help all arid communities in the west that depend upon snow-fed river systems like the Truckee.

McCarthy says there is more interest and pressure now than in the past, to prepare for the effects of climate change.

"We're being responsive to lots of organizations that are more focused now on climate adaptation than they had been historically," she says. "But a lot of the push is really understanding resiliency."

The Obama Administration released the National Climate Assessment earlier this year, which concludes that as temperatures continue to rise, droughts in the southwest will be longer, with drier conditions causing more major wildfires.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV